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Forward-thinking organizations secure their success through proactive Talent Acquisition.


In this article, EI4Q presents three ways for HR experts to help their organization excel at their long-term talent approach. 


Building Intelligent Talent Pipelines

Author: Kimberly Maucher-Lynch

There are many benefits to intelligent and proactive sourcing. In this article, we look at three tips for optimizing your talent pipeline.

1) Consider Time Lines for Talent Availability

Talent availability can vary widely according to the market, location and even time of year. Recruiting for professional profiles requires an understanding of the notice periods in the market being sourced. Long notice periods in some countries can make long-term talent planning a necessity (for example, a 6 month notice period is not uncommon in Germany). When pipelining for Early Talent roles, it is helpful to consider the semester plans and graduation dates of target universities. Recruitment campaigns should be aligned with the universities’ career services department wherever possible to ensure the best results from talent attraction initiatives. In building talent relationships with freelancers, understanding when they are available for the next engagement can be helpful-recruiters can thus contact such talent at strategic points in time when a move to a new employer is possible.

2) Tap Existing Networks and Contacts Wherever Available

Good candidates may be valuable sources of additional contacts in pipelining for a specific profile. Even if a candidate is not interested in an opportunity, he or she may be able to refer acquaintances with similar experience. Current and ex colleagues, contacts from professional symposiums and previous project partners are all potential leads which can be tapped. Additionally, recently-hired and also long-term employees may be aware of potential candidates in their professional circles. Internal referral programs are an excellent way to attract leads while also rewarding referrals leading to hires. According to a survey from Smashfly, 32% of hires stem from employee referrals and companies reported an 8% higher quality of candidate from this source. Internal HR departments can be strong partners in identifying leads for internal referrals. Global Mobility and HR Business Partner colleagues may have insight on returning expats seeking their next assignment or internal talent interested in a new career direction. Internal High-Potential and Trainee program leads are key contacts for recruiters for leads of candidates who are completing training courses and will soon be ready for a placement inside of the company.

3) Assess What Job profiles You Need Continuously


Smart pipelining starts with smart planning. HR experts and hiring managers can integrate headcount planning discussions with an assessment of jobs needed to fulfill upcoming business objectives. If a software company knows, for example, that they want to focus on the usability of their products, they may consider planning for additional User Experience specialists and experts in the next hiring cycle. Companies looking to expand in a certain market may choose to strategically source for sales people on a broad scale. Job postings for the pipeline can be channeled into pools for entry-level and professional roles, so that a broader spectrum of applicants are targeted. In creating such pipeline job postings, it is important to describe the job profile specifically enough to give applicants an understanding of the role, but also to leave space for details in the interview itself about concrete projects and areas which may change over time. According to Michael Page, job profiles should offer all necessary details on the role and refrain from company-internal terms which are not known to external applicants. In addition, the postings should convey a sense the organizations’ culture and identity. Wherever applicable, advertising one posting in a variety of locations can help broaden the scope for potential applicants. At the same time, such multi-regional job ads give candidates a taste of the geographic focus of the organization for which they are applying.


By integrating intelligent pipelining into a talent acquisition strategy, companies can be proactive about how they approach hiring and candidate attraction. If you want to know more about how you can optimize your talent focus, please stay tuned for more articles on the topic.



1) Survey from Smashfly on referral programs

2) Michael Page on job descriptions


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